UN Deputy Secretary-General visits Ben Tre

The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and Vietnamese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat yesterday paid a visit to the Mekong delta Province of Ben Tre to eye on the effects of drought and salinization. 

Ben Tre Province is one of the provinces in the Mekong delta suffering the most serious losses caused by drought and salinity. Seeing these paddy fields are as dry as a bone because of drought, the mission felt sorry for farmers who live on these fields.

The official visited Ms. Nguyen Thi Nuong in Phu Ngai Commune in Ba Tri District and measured the salinity of the canal in front of her house, which is the main source of fresh water for Nuong and hundreds of households in the locality.

The mission also visited the Bao Thuan water factory, the primary provider of fresh water for local residents, yet the salinity affected the water of the factory. Accordingly the lives of thousands inhabitants there face difficulties.

Mr. Jan Eliasson also got updated on the difficulties other locals in the drought-hit areas have been facing, promising on behalf of the United Nations that he would call for assistance from the international community at an upcoming global summit on humanitarian matters and the UN will liaise with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to provide the residents with support to help alleviate the problems.

The UN official lauded Vietnam leaders and residents in preventing and fighting drought and salinity believing that people will soon overcome difficulties to re-produce.

After listening to the Ministry’s reports that one of causes of drought in the Mekong delta region is hydro-power plants in the Mekong River which stopped water from the upper; as a result, salinity enters the land in Mekong delta more, Mr. Jan Eliasson said that it should promote the relationship in the region to use Mekong River properly promising to campaign international organizations working on environment to pay attention to Vietnam, which is badly affected by hydro power plant in Mekong River.

By Ngoc Dan - Translated by Anh Quan

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